Giancamilli: ‘NACDS is up to any challenge’

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BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Although the battle is far from over, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores won a number of significant victories last year, its leaders told the several hundred executives gathered at the association’s Regional Chain Conference here last month.

“I can say with confidence that the year shaped up pretty well,” NACDS chairman Andy Giancamilli said during his remarks to the conference attendees. “Things out there aren’t perfect, but in terms of NACDS and what we have been able to accomplish, I can say with certainty that we’re up to any challenge.”

Giancamilli said the key to NACDS’ success on being heard on health care reform and to its ability to ensure that pharmacists receive adequate reimbursement rates was right there in the room with him — the association’s members.

“NACDS is a member-driven trade association in the truest sense of the term,” he said. “[Our] ultimate goal is not to sustain NACDS just for the sake of perpetuating an organization, but rather to do so to meet your needs, and to meet the needs of the profession and the industry.”

A prime example of that approach, Giancamilli noted, was the association’s efforts in the health care reform debate over the past year.

Every week, he pointed out, the NACDS executive committee meets via a conference call during which association staffers in Alexandria, Va., update committee members on health care reform developments in Washington, D.C.

Those calls, Giancamilli noted, have helped chain drug executives across the country understand how health care reform will affect them and have ensured that NACDS is maximizing its efforts to pursue what he called a “pro-pharmacy, pro-patient policy.”

“This isn’t a situation in which the staff was left to its own devices to make decisions on behalf of the membership,” Giancamilli said. “We let the staff do their jobs from a tactical standpoint — they are the government affairs experts. But engaging member leaders is the only way to run an association.”

What it boils down to, he stressed, is that everyone involved in community pharmacy — retailers as well as suppliers — shares common goals and has a stake in NACDS’ success.
“There is more that unites us than divides us,” Giancamilli said.


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